Una legislator (MLA) Satpal Singh Satti, 51, was unanimously elected president of the state unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) here on Wednesday for the third time in a row. Union health minister JP Nadda, who hails from the state, was also present at the election meeting.
Satti, a third-time MLA from Una, will now become the longest serving party chief in the history of the party.
The party’s central high command had already given its approval for Satpal Singh Satti, though a number of leaders, owing allegiance to former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, former Union minister Shanta Kumar and Union health minister Jagat Parkash Nadda, were reported to be in the race.
The name of Satti was proposed by former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, three MPs and 20 legislators.
Satti, known for his plain-speaking, took over from Khimi Ram in February 2012, after he was inducted as a minister in the then Dhumal government and remained the president for over one year before getting a full three-year term.
The party’s central observer Ganeshi Lal, head of the party’s disciplinary committee, also announced four names for the party’s national council. They included former minister Sarveen Chaudhary, vice-president Ajya Rana, Kutlegar legistaor Virender Kanwar and Kasuali legislator DR Rajiv Sehjal Satti expressed his gratitude to senior leaders Prem Kumar Dhumal and Union minister Jagat Prakash Nadda, who had specially flown from Delhi.
While most of the party’s senior leaders and former ministers were present at the elections, Shanta Kumar was conspicuous by his absence. However, his supporters at the party headquarters - Deep Kamal - were present.
Satti spelt out his priorities and said, “I have worked hard so far and will have now have to work harder this time to strengthen the party ahead of the assembly elections.
“My main goal is to oust the Congress and in that task, I will involve every party worker and leader,” said Satti
Dhumal congratulated Satti for his election for the third time. “I believe that in the dynamic leadership of Satpal Singh Satti, the state BJP unit will achieve new heights,” Dhumal said, addressing party workers. He also hailed Satti’s tenure during which the party won all the four Lok Sabha seats in the 2014 general election.
Nadda said the BJP would not only increase its base under Satti’s leadership, but also win the state assembly polls due in 2017. “BJP will not only win 2017 assembly election but also work to maintain it forever,” he added.
Satpal Singh Satti, who has done MA, MPhil in Political Science, remained state secretary of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) from 1988 to 91; national secretary, ABVP, from 1991 to 93; general secretary, BJP, Una; president, state Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM); member, executive committee, of the state unit of the BJP.
He was first elected to the state legislative assembly in 2003; re-elected in 2007 and 2012.
He remained member of the public accounts committee and tbhe rural planning committee from January 2008 to July 2009; chief parliamentary secretary (attached with CM for MPP & Power and Youth Services and Sports) from July 2009 to March 2012.